Thursday, 10 January 2013

U is for Unicorn!

I never finished my 'Alphabet for August' challenge, and it went on most of the year, so now I'm going to finish it, continuing with.... 

U is for Unicorns! Why, you ask? Well, I was struggling with U and thought unicorns were definitely the nicest things I could think of. They are magical, mythical beasts, and wouldn't we all like to find one in a forest clearing somewhere? Plus it came to me on the spur of the moment, it is probably not the most likely thing for me to say, and occasionally I like to surprise myself!

V is for Vet - who we and the well-known pet insurers we shall not name have spent a disgusting amount on over the last few years. We have felt in the past that Ruby was getting treatment she didn't really need (as well as being overpriced) and it was actually making her ill! This was all done because she was going to have a dental, and had nothing else wrong with her. They did a blood test and found that her platelet count was low - very low - 32, I think. They said something like 250 was normal! Obviously we were scared. Now greyhounds have completely different blood compositions, heart and lung sizes etc, but this isn't always taken into account. They put her on steroids for months, which had little effect on her count, but changed her beyond belief,. She went off her food, did puddles all over the house, didn't want to go for walks and was literally hangdog all the time! Now they were earmarking her for leukemia treatment, when she had been a happy normal dog before the drugs kicked in. We were due to go on holiday with her, so we told the vet we had decided to stop the steroids and see what difference it made. In the first week she perked up and stopped having 'accidents' in the house, and she just went back to being our sweet Ruby. We aren't in any way saying dogs shouldn't be given steroids, or advising anyone to go against their vet's advice, but remember, Ruby wasn't ill to start with. Some months later, she had a blood test again and it was 500, and the next time, just before the dental she never had was re-planned it was about 55. They had once said that some dogs have counts that go up and down all the time, but I'm so glad we took her off the treatment when we did.

We changed vets when when they told us how much it would be to extract one tooth and clean the rest, and I thought it was a stupid amount, so checked locally and on the internet. Everyone was charging half the price or less than our vet. So we upped sticks and left. You can always change your vet, so shop around. The one we took her to in the end deals with greyhounds and lurchers all the time, so we know she's got the best one now.

If you want to see the earlier alphabet entries, please browse my earlier posts.

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